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Macmillan Higher Education

In Your Face

The New Science of Human Attraction

ISBN 9780230340435
Publication Date June 2012
Formats Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series MacSci


Pitched at the general reader, this book will seek both to introduce the field of facial perception and to challenge and provoke the thinking reader. After a brief introduction to evolutionary ideas and a comparative overview of the importance of faces for social and sexual interactions in animals the book will focus on the issues of human development, personality, health/lifestyle and mate choice in turn, highlighting the latest cutting-edge research, and encouraging people to look at themselves and others in an entirely new light. The final chapter will pull together the various strands of research covered in the book and investigate how this relates to the patterns and behaviours we see in modern society today, like the rise of cosmetic surgery and anti-aging interventions, the 'halo' effect that good looks can bring in terms of job prospects and promotions, and how one can potentially compensate for any apparent deficiencies in physical appearance. What makes a face attractive? Why are we attracted to certain faces and not others? In this highly readable account from the frontiers of psychology, the author explains how the human face evolved and how our perceptions of the face affect our judgments of others' personality, health, trustworthiness, and suitability as a friend or lover. In our daily lives, in our memories and fantasies, our mental worlds overflow with faces. But what do we really know about this most remarkable feature of the human body? Why do we have faces at all, and brains that are good at reading them? What do our looks say - and not say - about our personalities?

And perhaps the most compelling question of all: Why are we attracted to some faces more than others? 'In Your Face' is an engaging and authoritative tour of the science of facial beauty and face perception.

David Perrett, the pre-eminent scholar in the field, reveals and interprets the most remarkable findings and in the process demolishes many popular myths, setting the record straight on what neuroscience and evolutionary psychology are teaching us about beauty. The record is more surprising and often more unsettling than you might think.

David Perrett is an internationally recognized leader in the field of face perception and the study of human attractiveness. His work has appeared in the most prestigious scientific journals and is often featured in the popular press around the world. As a professor and head of the Perception Lab at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he has trained many of the most promising young researchers in the field. Perrett received the Golden Brain award for his discoveries about the way the brain processes faces and pioneered the use of computer graphics to study the perception of facial attributes such as beauty, health, and personality.

Introduction
Fish Face: A Brief Tour of the Face and its Origins
Seeing Faces: How we Recognize Faces and Why we Like Them
A Baby's Bias: How we are Attracted to Faces from Birth
Beauty in Balance: The Proportions that Really are Universally Attractive
His and Hers: How Sex Hormones Influence our Looks and our Attraction to Others
The Point of Beauty: Why Facial Attractiveness Matters in the Long Run
Fit Face: How our Health is Reflected in our Faces
Wither the Face: On the Cuteness of Babies and the Effects of Time
Faces with Attitude: How the Personality we Seek in a Partner Guides our Face Tastes
All in the Family: How Parents and Peers Shape our Attraction to Faces
Love Potions: Transforming Attraction to Love
Epilogue

Reviews

"Let's face it. David Perrett has written a truly compelling book. Chock full of science, but reader-friendly and entertaining. Now I have a new perspective on my own crooked smile and have learned many other fascinating things related to faces. Highly recommended." - Professor Joseph LeDoux, author of The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self.
"An engaging revelation of the biology and psychology behind facial beauty, but be warned: In Your Face may reveal some surprising truths about why we are attracted to others." - Bruce Hood, author of SuperSense and Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.
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